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123 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and brilliant memoir
Gypsy Boy is my book of the year, and I would urge everyone to read it. It's the autobiographical story of Mikey Walsh, a boy growing up as a Romany Gypsy during the 80s and 90s. The pictures he paints of life in the camps, the Gypsy culture, and the Gypsy characters who had a major impact on his life (as they're not allowed to socialise with Gorgias - non-Gypsies) are...
Published on 18 Oct 2009 by Greg Jameson

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject - not one I would of chosen myself.
This was picked by one of the ladies in my book club, she had been recommended it.
It made me mad most of the way through. I will admit I am not a great lover of gypsies. It reinforced why!!! Thieving, fighting, blood sports, child abuse, both physical and mental. Bullying, spitfulness, predujice....I could go on, but you must get the picture. The poor lad at...
Published 8 months ago by JuliaPeculiar


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123 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and brilliant memoir, 18 Oct 2009
Gypsy Boy is my book of the year, and I would urge everyone to read it. It's the autobiographical story of Mikey Walsh, a boy growing up as a Romany Gypsy during the 80s and 90s. The pictures he paints of life in the camps, the Gypsy culture, and the Gypsy characters who had a major impact on his life (as they're not allowed to socialise with Gorgias - non-Gypsies) are stunningly vivid, conjuring in few words a real sense of place, so that as you read it's as if you can see and smell the places he describes, and as if you're watching the events unfold. Walsh uses a beautiful, lyrical narrative style, but never at the expense of clarity.

The early chapters about his birth and infancy leave his relatives to tell the story, and it helps to establish his mother and sister; as well as set up the major driving force of the narrative - his father's expectations for him. A prize-fighter himself, his father requires Mikey to carry on the line of well-respected Walshes, but it's clear from his first boxing lessons as a young child that he's never going to measure up and grow into the tough, fierce man that's required of him. Without any trace of self-pity, Walsh unflinchingly describes a childhood of horrendous physical, and even sexual abuse; but through using moments of tenderness and wit, he injects humour and pathos in equal measure, as he crafts a captivating story about a boy growing up and trying to fit in with the demands of his culture and satisfy his father's sense of honour. From the passages about his time at school, to the distance that grew between him and his sister, to the hopes he had for the future, Walsh carries you along with the power of his story-telling, and I found myself speeding up the pace of my reading, I was so keen to find out what happened next.

Gypsy Boy made me laugh out loud frequently. It also made me cry. Sometimes both within the space of a page. My only regret is that I read it too quickly instead of forcing myself to savour it, but it's certainly a book I'll return to. It's a brilliant and captivating story about a notoriously secretive and enigmatic race, told with wit and passion, through a stunningly elegant narrative voice. If you read nothing else this year, read Gypsy Boy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Touched My Soul, 7 April 2010
By 
Ja Trustram (Hemel Hempstead) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I can't believe that anyone could rate this with anything less than 5 stars. I was going to say that it was my favorite book of the year but then I realised that it is probably my favorite book ever. I brought it for my holiday and after reading one page I couldn't put it down and now Im ready for my holiday with a case full of books that will never live up to it. I genuinly feel sorry for people that let this book pass them by. I brought it on recommendation and it really did touch my soul. It is a rollercaoster ride of emotions and anyone who thinks this paints gyspies in a bad light couldn't be more wrong. He really could have chosen to go down that road but he hasnt. This is a man that proves that what doesnt kill you makes you stronger. Mikey didn't go to school and he seldom mixed with non-Gypsies and went through so many hard times yet he has written a book which which would be an achievment on its own. You will be shocked, you will probably shed a tear and you will definitly laugh out loud. He never wallows in self pity and is just telling his life story. He has been brave his whole life. He was a brave child and an even braver man.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hit me broadside, 11 Jan 2010
This book affected me and hit me broadside right from the off. Gruelling in parts, it is one of the most compelling and powerful books I have ever read. I struggled on several occasions with its subject, but only because it was so well written and I felt truly invested in it.

I have never been moved to tears by a book before, but Walsh's book had me unashamedly reaching for Kleenex on many occasions. His writing is not all misery-lit, though, and he spices it with some wonderful humour, too. It is in this honesty of pain and good cheer that the book's power lies as it is completely absent of self-pity. I hope this book is a runaway success.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites, 17 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World (Paperback)
I'm a difficult reader in terms of what i choose to read and what i like after al and i have to say that this book grab my attention form page one and i couldn't stop reading, finishing the one chapter and feeling thirsty for more and more and as a result i have finished reading the book within 2 days....and now i'm wishing the author to release a new story. Definitely gets a place on the top favourite books of mine and proudly it will hold one of the prominent places on bookcase.

A story that makes you shed a tear and before you even realise you have a big smile on your face again and this goes on and on throughout the whole book, you never get bored. A brave child, becoming a respectable adult through laugh and tears, a story that you can sense the honesty and reality of it on your skin, becoming one with the character(s). I definitely recommend it!

One thing i don't understand is why amazon relates it only with other gay content books. I think is not the right reference. Is about a kid with dreams growing up in a family in which the laws and culture doesn't allow you to dream and think outside the box, everything is pre-set for you but if you have the courage you can overcome and achieve whatever you have dreamed of and more. Is about self determination, human power of mind and soul.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read, 26 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World (Paperback)
As like some one else who wrote a review I to know Mikey, he is a cousin of mine on is mothers side. Mikey is a hero in my eyes, to come out not only being gay but also writing this book is a true testament to his bravery. It highlights some of the inherited ways to which we were all brought up to live by and believe, however we have to remember this is a book so not all of the information is necessarily true. There is obviously a lot in there to make it good reading. I do know Mikey's farther was very hard on him as yes these beatings did take place. All in all his farther and the whole of his fathers family should be ashamed! This book has only come into light in the traveling community in the past few weeks and to say it has caused a massive rift is an understatement. What I will say is that everyone I have spoken to congratulates Mikey on doing this only the people that have something to hide DO NOT. But please everyone that's reads this book, not all travelers are what they are portrayed to be.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touched my heart...., 18 May 2010
By 
L. jessup - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World (Paperback)
I would go as far to say this is one of the best books i have EVER read. I finished it in two days as i could not put it down.
It truly is an inspirational book it made me laugh and cry it really is very touching and beautifully written. I am so grateful to Mikey for writing this book and sharing his story with us he really is a talented, honest, brave, amazing guy. I have recommended 'Gypsy Boy' to nearly every single person i know and not one person who has read it has been disappointed. BRILLIANT READ!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never in my life have I been so touched, 29 May 2010
By 
Ms. Ashleigh M. Haines (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World (Paperback)
I'm not really a big fan of books but when I heard about Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh, I was interested by the plot and reviews I had read. It wasn't until I revieved the book that I realised it was based on true events, which made me really want to read. I won't give too much away about the plot of the story - you'll have to buy it yourself, but some of the events that take place in the book broke my heart and made me weep, yet some made me laugh out loud.

I have to say, this book is the most amazing book I have ever read in my life.

The author, Mikey Walsh is such an inspiration to me. I have added him on the social networking website, Twitter and he is so unbelievably lovely and talks to his followers and replies to their questions.

He deserves all of the praise and love he gets from readers of his book. It is truly, truly an amazing read and I recommend it strongly.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My point of view, 25 May 2010
This review is from: Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World (Paperback)
First off I really wasn't going to review this book as there are already so many this is going to be a drop in the ocean. But then I thought I'll do it anyways!

I had no idea this book existed until every time I logged on to Amazon the "recommendation" pages kept ramming it down my throat. So eventually I caved, if only to stop it from coming up again, and bought it!!

I'm glad I did.

In a nutshell it tells of a boys upbringing as a Romany Gypsy, in a culture he didn't quite fit in.

There are very few books that I can read in a day. I often have to keep checking back cos I missed something or got confused with events. Not this one.

I used to love the romanticism of my perceived idea of the gypsy lifestyle, no school, mucking about with your mates, parties around the camp fires etc (hey, I was a kid!), but I was always warned not to mix with Gypsy people. Til this day I still dont fully understand why, curse etc?! This book clarifies (not the right word, but my minds blank!) most of my misconceptions I had on these people. After reading it life in the gypsy camp is a lot harder that how I imagined it.

The book revolves around the authors personal upbringing & although the physical & sexual abuse he received is downright shocking he doesn't get morbid & wallows in self pity throughout it. I found it hard, but one minute I was staring at the pages with my jaw wide open & a few pages later I was doubled over in hysterics.

Although this book did a great deal to open my mind towards the gypsy people I did feel that maybe the authors prejudices towards the Irish travelers were still a bit strong. I dont know cos I dont know any Irish travelers, but he did seem to tar them all with the same brush. I certainly dont think that after reading this that all Gypsies are child abusing thugs, just like I dont feel everyone living on Fred West's road are child molesting serial killers. But where I was warned not to speak to gypsy kids cos they will curse you, I got the feeling that speaking to Irish travelers would result in a knife in me. I cant believe that's true.

After finishing the book I couldn't help but admire the authors honesty & bravery as well as his family's understanding. Hats off to you all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-breaking heroism, 12 April 2011
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I cannot believe that I had never heard of this book before! It arrived earlier today from Amazon and now, in the early hours of the morning, I have only just put it down. Absolutely riveting from the first page to the conclusion. I couldn't close it to finish later - just had to keep reading it.

How the author managed to keep his sanity and dignity through such a turbulent and violent childhood, I cannot understand. He speaks directly to the reader through such a range of experiences, much of which had me in tears, although at no point does he seek to elicit pity or anger from his audience. A wonderful and easy writing style which I found extremely compelling.

The contrast when he eventually finds true love and happiness is overwhelming because he conveys his joy as easily and fluently as he describes the appalling earlier scenes of brutality and degradation.

Without a doubt one of the most poignant but compelling and hard-hitting books I have ever read. The images conveyed without bitterness or malice will remain with me for a very long time to come.Mikey - or whoever you are - you are indeed the hero of this book which deserves to become a classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an inspirational and heartbreaking account of strength and bravery!, 2 Jan 2011
This review is from: Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World (Paperback)
from start to finish ..this book evokes all imaginable emotions!
within a world unknown to most of us this book tell's the story of mikey a young GYPSY boy who was always destined to be DIFFERENT!

I read this book in one day! I laughed but more..my heart broke, i cried and got angry that one special person could be subjected to such misery!
But by the end i realised that all that happened to mikey the "GYPSY BOY" made him who he was!! an amazing inspirational human being!
my opinion of gypsies has changed and i feel guilty for any prejudice i might have had before!

I beg you to buy and embrace this book!!! HONEST,FUNNY,HARROWING,HEARTBREAKING,but above all........INSPIRATIONAL!!!!!!
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Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World
Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape from a Secret World by Mikey Walsh (Paperback - 4 Feb 2010)
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